Spacecom – Review
Follow Genre: Strategy, Space, Starfleet command
Developer: Flow Combine
Publisher: 11 Bit Launchpad
Platform: PC, Linux, Mac
Tested on: PC

Spacecom – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: Clean, minimalistic design lets players focus on gameplay; various maps that vary in size and lengths
Bad: UI elements tend to get in the way but can be moved, repetitive gameplay
User Score
8.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Spacecom, developed by Flow Combine and published under the 11 bit launchpad, has finally released after being successfully Greenlit last year. The developers applied the phrase “Less is More” in this minimalistic game perfectly but at the same time it allows the player to fully immerse in the strategical starfleet command gameplay.

Spacecom_logo

Story

At first glance there is not much of a storyline present in Spacecom but once you dig deeper, you’ll find out that there is one. The missions not only act as a tutorial of the game but they also act as the single player campaign, where the story is carefully hidden.

It all starts when a patrol fleet gets annihilated by terrorists. As the Colonial Federation has been trying to clear the separatists, the blame falls on them. Not soon after the loss of the patrol fleet, a full scale anti-terrorist operation is set up by the Hegemon. You must follow orders and travel to the sectors where rebels may have established a foothold and rid the sectors of the rebels that are causing havoc.

Graphics

Overall the clean and minimalistic visuals of Spacecom may give some people the impression that the game was once a web browser game. However this clean look is not necessarily a bad feature of the game as this allows the player to be fully immersed in the gameplay. Personally I find the fact that there is almost no clutter rather refreshing. The interface menu is clean with an animated background. The animation of said background is just as minimalistic as the overall game and it’s a nice touch but not a necessity.

The UI interface is kept just as simple, with no additional clutter that can get in the way. The UI elements however tend to get in the way of your fleets or planets but luckily they can easily be moved around. The backgrounds during games is quite abstract but it does remind me of the beautiful aurora’s one can find in outer space. The fleets and planets, whether they are owned by you or your enemy, are fairly easy to spot thanks to the usage of bright colors against the darker neutral colors of the background.

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All-in-all, the minimalistic visual design in Spacecom allows you to see the entire picture without any distracting elements such as unnecessary effects in one simple glance, allowing you to focus purely on creating the perfect strategy.

Sound

As I mentioned in the preview, the audio further completes the minimalistic design that is present in Spacecom. I also mentioned that the audio is designed to trigger strategic thinking and this is quite noticeable when you start playing as the voice-coms can be heard when enemy fleets are on their way to capture or destroy planets. Why the Russian accented gibberish that is being heard triggers the mind into thinking you are in space is unknown to me but it simply does and it is one of the charms that I love – subtle, yet present.

Gameplay

The gameplay in Spacecom can be explained in a few sentences but before I dive into the gameplay, I will have you know that the gameplay in the single player campaign and the multiplayer mode are the same, albeit with different tactics. As the single player campaign acts as a tutorial at the same time, you are given several tasks which you need to complete – thus learning you the ropes of the gameplay. In the multiplayer mode you will be battling against up to seven other players, whether they are real players or bots, in a variety of maps that vary in size and lengths. Matches can last between ten to forty minutes but if you and your opponents are fierce enough, matches can go on for longer than those forty minutes.

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In Spacecom you need to build and control fleets of ships which you will need to use strategically to attack and defend. There are three tiers of defense and attack systems, three types of ships – Battle, Siege and Invasion ships. The Battle ships are your soldiers. The Invasion ships are capable of invading systems and capturing them. The Siege ships are needed to destroy systems so that no one may use them to their own advantage. Additionally, the systems have their own set of abilities. Some star systems can repair your ships while others can build additional ships, some will produce resources which you will need to build these ships.

As the star systems are laid out as a grid, there are only a few ways to move from system to system – via the gridlines. You can move your fleet in its entirety or you can move them separately, depending on what tactic you are going for. Keep in mind though that once fleets are in transit, turning them around is a no go. If your fleets are in route to a system that is your own, they will move faster. Having them in route to an enemy star system will slow them down. That is truly all there is, there are no tech trees to advance. However there are ranks in the ships themselves. Ships that have won many battles will rank up and ultimately gain more health.

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If you have captured a star system, you can build defenses so that it may not fall into enemy hands that easily. The ground troops are the standard units but shields and defense grids can help enormously. As you can see, tactics are needed in Spacecom. You will need to carefully plan where to station which fleets, which star systems to invade or destroy and much more with only limited resources – if you have a star system that provides recourses that is.

Conclusion

While I am personally not a fan of strategy games, I do feel that Flow Combine has done a brilliant job with keeping the focus on the gameplay itself rather than the visuals. The game can be tricky if you have no prior knowledge of strategy games but the single player campaign will not punish you for it, thus allowing anyone to learn the ropes. With several game modes as your playground, there are quite a few hours that can be put in Spacecom. The game does feel repetitive after a while but luckily strategies can develop over time, ultimately making each match different than the previous one. All-in-all, a brilliant game to play even if I’m not fond of the genre.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
Spacecom - Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Drydwen


Hi! I'm Jess and Iā€™m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

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